Elf Jr. The Musical

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     “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” This famous quote is from the iconic movie Elf which was released back in 2003. Although it is 14 years old, people young and old still love watching Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) frolic around New York City on his search for his dad. Buddy gets into trouble multiple times, even landing in jail for tackling the false Santa in Gringles department store. Elf is a movie that will leave you laughing and quoting the characters! We could sit here all day and discuss all of the best parts of Elf, but that’s not what this article is about.

     This article is about Springfield Little Theatre’s very own Elf Jr. the Musical! The students are living up to the quote  “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”! This play was open to middle and high school students from all different schools, including Cherokee! In fact, I interviewed one of our classmates who is in Elf Jr. — 7th grader Elena Black, who is in the adult ensemble. Here are her responses:

     I asked Elena what a short summary of Elf Jr. would be. She said it was basically the same as the movie, so a summary of the two would be that Baby Buddy crawls into Santa’s bag and is taken back to the North Pole. He is raised by elves but finds out he’s human when he’s an adult. He goes to New York City to find and meet his dad and has adventures there. His father rejects him at first but eventually realizes that they need each other.

     Although the two shows are very alike, there are some differences. Elena said that Elf Jr. doesn’t show Buddy as a baby or when he’s growing up. It starts when Buddy’s an adult. There’s also no Papa Elf, Buddy’s adoptive father.

     I asked Elena what the cast is like. She said, “They’re all really nice and they are all really good actors.”  Then I asked what the adult ensemble is and what’s it’s like. She said that every time in the movie when you see New Yorkers other than the main characters, that’s the ensemble. Then she answered, “It’s fun. You get a lot of backstage experience. You make a lot of friends.”  

     “All practices are different. Some of them you are onstage a lot. Others you’re backstage a lot while other groups practice their parts.” This is what her answer was when I asked her what the practices for Elf Jr. are like. Then I asked her what the performances are like. She answered that they are really fun and that sometimes they feel like dress rehearsals, and that some feel like performances. “You can’t really see the audience much because of all the lights,” she said.

     Are you wondering what being a part of drama is like? Well, Elena said that “It gives you the opportunity to meet new people that you haven’t met before,” and, “Every show you’re in is different so it’s a different experience every time.”

     Elf Jr. had 13 open performances plus 6 school performances when elementary schools come to Springfield Little Theatre and watch the play. Their last performance was on December 10. Their dance/choreograph director and main director is Zoe Zelonky who Elena says is a really good director, and their music director is Clayton Avery. Elena said he was the one who taught them all of the songs and the specific parts of the songs. Buddy the Elf is played by Bud Triplett, Jovie is played by Amber Eggimann, and Walter Hobbs is played by Wyatt Munsey. For the full cast list of 80 students, click here.

     Even though the play has ended, don’t miss out on everyone’s favorite elf/human! Watch the movie Elf and be prepared to laugh and laugh and laugh! Merry Christmas!

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